Thursday, May 30, 2024

Front nine birdie blitz bolts Gavin Tiernan into Irish AM lead – Irish Golfer Magazine

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County Louth Golf Club star Gavin Tiernan enjoyed an excellent 2023 season at Boys level but he showed he can easily make the step up to the men’s championships after a terrific round of 65 saw him hit the front at the Flogas Irish Men’s Amateur Open Championship in County Sligo Golf Club.

Tiernan who helped Ireland to victory at the Boys Home Internationals last year while also representing Ireland at the European Boys, holds a one shot lead over Walker Cup duo, Liam Nolan and Matthew McClean on six-under-par.

“Pretty happy, felt like I was in control of the ball all day. Was making sure to miss it in the right place then obviously had a nice run from 5 and I got the putter going. Unfortunate to finish with a bogey on 17 but it’s a tough hole.”

“Just stuck to my strategy the whole day. Was just making sure I was putting myself in the right side of the pins because if you get above it it can get very tricky. Off the tee I was pretty good and got a nice run of birdies. It was a good start to the week.”

Tiernan, who recently turned 18, did what you have to do and skipped through the first five holes in two-under-par with birdies at the par-5 3rd and 5th holes.

At this point it’s hang onto your hat for the remainder of the front nine, but instead of clinging on for three successive pars, Tiernan went on a rampage, rolling in birdies on the 6th, 7th and 8th holes to make it four in a row as he burst into a share of the lead.

“The par-five I hit it into 8-foot and lipped out for eagle! But that was nice to start off the run, hit a good shot using the slope on 6 and then on 7 and 8 I held two long ones so I had the putter going.

“I was trying to get three pars on 6, 7 and 8 to be honest! I wasn’t changing my strategy I just hit it to where I wanted to the whole time. My strategy was good and I committed to all of my shots.

The Baltray golfer powered on with birdies on the 10th and 15th to climb to seven-under and despite a bogey on the notoriously difficult 17th into a cool breeze, he was very pleased with his afternoon.

“I like the greens here they are in front of you, you know what they will do most of the time, I tried to avoid the slopes to give myself the best chances for makable putts.

“I felt like I played a good practice round yesterday and I scoped out the course well so I had a good strategy set and I was just making sure that I stuck to it and made the right decisions.”

It’s the start of a big summer for Tiernan who has brought the books with him to Rosses Point as he tries to catch up on some study ahead of the Leaving Cert this June.

He will then depart for East Tennesse State University in August and he hopes to be heading Stateside with some silverware.

“Plenty of golf, plenty of tournaments, plenty of chances to win. That’s my goal, I feel like I have the game. Just giving it time. I haven’t been playing too much recently so trying to stay patient with it. Nice to shoot a good score today.”

Scoring HERE

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